Most people baulked at the thought of making lapis. (thousand layer cake) A reader sent me a message, concerned about the time required to make a lapis cake – a friend of hers had told her that she would have to spend the whole day to make the cake.
Hence, I would like to take this opportunity to dispel the myth behind this intimidating looking cake. The common reaction I get when I present the cake to them is one of widened wonder, as they tried to envision me slouching over the grill the whole day, pouring layers upon layers of grilling batter. Actually, the process of making Lapis, I find, is much less tedious than for example making the pineapple tart.
I normally bake my Lapis in the evening… coincidentally always on a Saturday while NCIS is showing on TV… That would be around 8pm… I would start the preparation during the commercial breaks and would usually finish baking and washing up by 10pm. And once the baking process starts, I will have 3 mins interval in between each layer where I can surf the internet on my computer. So it really is not too bad.
Only important piece of advice is – read your instructions carefully before you start. Know the steps to the process well and measure the ingredients carefully. This is an expensive cake and if messed up, you could be throwing out $$$ spent on 2 blocks of good butter, 17 eggs and utilities… (keeping the grill running for over an hour consumes electricity!)
I had it a little easier because I had seen the demo process at Valerie’s class and conveniently for me, I got an extra free kitchen aid mixing bowl when I bought my machine years ago. As a result, I did not have issues when the 17 eggs tripled/ quadrupled in volume when beaten. If you only have one mixing bowl, make sure you transfer the creamed butter into a separate container, wash it out and beat your eggs in the tall mixing bowl. Be warned, the eggs will volume up to the brim of the bowl. This volume will then subside when the creamed butter is added.
To me that is possibly the most disconcerting part of the process. The grilling and pressing part is really a piece of cake….
I chose to bake this again because I owe my colleagues in Taiwan a sweet treat and I am happy to take the opportunity to experiment with a new flavour. I chose to experiment with Pandan flavour but unfortunately, I did not manage to get my hands on Pandan paste and had to rely only on Pandan extract… the flavour turned out rather weak and it felt like eating just plain lapis cake. Nevertheless, it is always satisfying to see the clear layers when the edges are trimmed away….
- 375g Butter
- 1 Vanilla pod
- 180g Full cream condensed milk
- 5 Whole eggs
- 12 Egg yolks
- 200g Fine sugar
- 3g Baking powder
- 130g Cake flour
- 20g Coconut cream powder
- 2tsp Pandan paste/ Emulsco
- Green colouring
- Preheat oven to 230 C using the normal top and bottom heat to heat up the entire oven. If your oven has grill function with temperature control, use that.
- Line the bottom of a 8″ square pan.
- Cream butter, vanilla seed (scraped from vanilla pod) and condensed milk together until light and fluffy. Set this aside.
- Beat eggs, egg yolks, sugar and baking powder together until ribbon stage. Add the butter from (3) into the egg mixture and continue to beat at high speed.
- Sift flour and fold into the batter.
- Divide batter into 2 portions. Add mocha emulco and cocoa powder into one portion. Mix well to combine.
- Heat the empty cake pan in the oven for 2 mins.
- Remove pan from oven and spread a portion of batter in the pan. (Measure your batter for every layer to ensure that your layers will be even) Level batter with a spatula and grill for 3 mins or until dark brown.
- Remove from oven, press cake layer to remove excess air. Spread another portion of batter, level it and grill for 3 mins or until dark brown.
- Repeat 9 and 10 (alternating 3 layers of plain batter with 3 layers of mocha layer) until the batter is finished.